The ill-fated Eastern Star cruise ship is moved to berth away from the site where it capsized to ensure navigational safety on the Yangtze River in Jianli city, Central China's Hunan province, June 10, 2015. (Photo/IC)
The damaged Yangtze River cruise ship Eastern Star was moved around 10 km upstream of its accident site on Wednesday morning following concerns the ship may be further destroyed.[Special coverage]
At around 10 a.m., the Eastern Star was pulled by a tugboat to calmer waters and away from the site where capsized on June 1, killing 434 people onboard, with eight still missing.
The ship can hardly withstand the heavy rains and strong winds common during the Yangtze River's flood season due to serious damages in the accident, according to the Ministry of Transport.
Throughout Tuesday, rescuers had been patching the many leaks on the hull and moved 10 tonnes of sand bags to the right side of the ship to prevent it from tilting to the left.
Removing the ship from the edge of the main channel will also facilitate navigation on the Yangtze, the ministry said.
By Tuesday, the Eastern Star had already been moved dozens of meters upstream to allow divers to search for victims at the site.
Families of the victims were invited to claim their lost relatives' belongings on Wednesday at a funeral parlor in Jianli County, central China's Hubei Province.
Workers have numbered and registered more than 320 items collected from the ship and surrounding area.
The Eastern Star cruise ship, carrying 456 people onboard, was on an 11-day trip along the Yangtze River when it was overturned in heavy rains on the night of June 1. Only 14 had survived.